key insights to AWARD winning designs
are you losing MONEY in your business
the perfect BALL pillow
blast from the past - ENGLISH PANEL METHOD
a letter from JEANELLE
For me, one result of the Pandemic has been a renewed desire to connect with family and old friends and to seek opportunities to make the world a better place. I have found such a project with Those Boys on the Hill, sharing stories of a foster home in the community where I grew up. In order to devote energy to this endeavor, it was necessary for me to step down from my role as managing editor of the Drapery & Design Digital Digest.
I am delighted to announce that, beginning with this issue, I have passed the torch to Ceil DiGuglielmo who has been a valuable partner for the past several years. I thank Ceil for her consistent support and am confident that the Digest will continue to flourish under her leadership.
by Jeanelle Dech
DO IT NOW…
sometimes later becomes never.
Ceil and Jeanelle in January of 2019
A popular choice to provide more window and less fabric is the Custom Side Panel.
MYL Custom Side Panel Program offers easy to order panels with 9 Pleat Styles. Lengths up to 115 inches with either 1 or 1/ ½ width panels. Larger panels can be ordered through our Custom COM Labor Program with lengths up to 240”.
MYL Custom Side Panel Rods offer the appearance of a Floating Side Panel. For a fraction of the cost, under $40 wholesale per pair of rods up to 36” each rod.
Design Consideration…Inside End Cap Options available for custom look and limit the “behind the scene” view. Normal Return, No Return, 1” – 3“ Wrap on Leading Edge, Mitered Edge with Board Mount
www.mylltd.com | email@example.com
Side Panel Design Strategy
photos courtesy of Sheffield Furniture
3 Key Design Insights that Led Keely Hersh to a VISION Design Awards Win for Curtains and Draperies
By Taryn Pearce
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Keely Hersh, owner and designer for Right at Home Interiors in Placerville, California, took home one first-place and two second-place awards from this year's International VISION Design & Workroom Awards. One of her second-place awards came in the Curtain & Draperies category for a gorgeous array of window treatments Hersh created as part of a modern living/dining room interior design project.
The integration of these window treatments with the rest of the design took a high level of skill to execute. Hersh had to contend with challenges like asymmetrical windows, high ceilings, and street-facing windows in order to complete these drapes for the client's dream room. It was Hersh's experience as a designer as well as her detail-oriented design approach that gave her the edge she needed not only to satisfy her client, but to stand out at the VISION Design Awards.
Let's take a look at three key insights we can take away from Keely's award-winning work on this design.
Right At Home Interiors has proudly been in business for over 25 years. Owner and designer Keely Hersh views fabirc as a main feature in home decor and manufactures your custom window coverings, bedding and room decor accessories at her in-house custom drapery workroom.
As Hersh often says, "the fabric is everything." The client wanted the space to have a contemporary and dramatic look. To achieve this with the window treatments, Hersh chose to design inverted pleat drapery panels using three different fabrics. The beautiful color story these fabrics created included a bright modern print of dandelions for the top fabric and a luxurious gold silk for the bottom.
Hersh also created a 4" banding in a contrasting blue-toned grey colored silk. She then sewed the custom-made banding on top of the other two fabrics. This technique created a smooth transition between the fabrics and eliminated any puckering. The three fabrics used all have a similar weight and drape, which was important for Hersh to be able to achieve soft ripple folds down the long drapery panels.
1. Select the Right Fabrics for the Job
Hersh had high ceilings and multiple windows to work with for this design. She tailored the drapes to frame the two largest windows on both sides of the glass. She hung the drapes asymmetrically on the two smaller windows that are on the same long wall in each room, one to the left on the window in the living room and one to the right on the window in the dining room. This was done to make the windows appear wider. Her choice of placement helped to create the dramatic and inviting look the client was after.
2. Consider Style and Function Equally
No design project comes without its challenges. Yet, as Hersh shows us with this project, every design's challenges are also a designer's greatest opportunities. It is the specific needs of each client and the uniqueness of every space that gives a designer the chance to produce stunning, unforgettable results that both clients and award committees will love.
3. Be Thoughtful with Placement
When it comes to window treatment design, there must be a balance between function and beauty. In this instance, the client's room faced street-side, so sheers were added for privacy. They also served to create an intimate dining experience.
Hersh also integrated the sheers and custom draperies with the modern concept the client wanted for the entire space. While the curtains are sleek and elegant, they are also cheery and bright.Just like the rest of the room, they invite you to come in and stay awhile - exactly what the client wanted.
Want to be featured in a future issue? Use #csfrl to make sure you get noticed.
Jan/Feb 2021 Instagram Contributors:
Theda Hadden - @springwoodupholstery
Laurie Gutberlet - @seaglassseams
Amanda Smith - @sewunordinary
Jessie Lee Miller - @winstonsworkroom
Nancy Letts - @pinehousedrapery
Impressive Windows and Interiors - @Impressivewindowsandinteriors
Mary Pointer Studio - @marypointerstudio
Teal Major - @slipsberkeley
Hallie Meschter - @sewhallie
Marie Mouradian - @windowdesignsetc
Kate Winton Designs - @Katewintondesigns
Note: using #csfrl implies permission to use your image in the Drapery & Design Digital Digest with photo credit and Instagram link.
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Terri Booser and Jeanelle Dech share methods for calculating ring spacing on Roman Shades. Learn the basics of vertical and horizontal spacing to achieve several different shade variations such as hem reveals, permanent bottom folds, and relaxed draping. Visit Workroom Marketplace to purchase an 11-page PDF download that includes a full transcript and illustrations documenting the step-by-step process.
Method Share - ROMAN SHADE RING SPACING
Click here to purchase and download the 11-page PDF companion to ROMAN SHADE RING SPACING
The Perfect Ball Pillow
by Terry Sandlin
You have a your pattern!
If you do not have a compass – you can use a soft tape measure and a push pin.
6) Draw straight line between intersecting points until it crosses equator (Horizontal line) Mark that point G.
10) You just drew finished size pattern - To add seam allowances – extend compass .25 and put compass point at G draw semi-circle then H draw semi-circle.
5) Using same radius, put compass point on intersection E – draw semi-circle intersecting previous semi-circle at 2 points.
4) Place compass point on intersection C and pencil point @ intersection E (R=CE) draw semi-circle.
This past summer a designer’s client requested a basketball size and shape pillow. Her client had seen some on Etsy but were only about 10” diameter, she wanted an 18” diameter pillow. I have made round, ball-ish pillows before. Usually with a button on each end hiding imperfections at the joins and/or having a “Not completely round” shape. She did not want that. I knew it could be done, so “Sure” was my answer. I spent the entire weekend researching. Saw that someone bought a beachball and cut it apart to use for a pattern. Found patterns for 4” toy balls but you cannot just add 12” to height and width and get a sphere shape. I made many interesting, trial pillows from pumpkin shape to oblong.
8) Using same radius, put compass point on F and make a mark on left side of equator. Mark it H.
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11) Cut pattern on seam allowance lines. I use the paper pattern to cut one from black-out.
Transfer the Horizontal & vertical lines and top and bottom points (points D & C).
9) Place compass point on H draw semi-circle from C-F-D (forming right side of pattern).
7) Put Compass point on G and pencil on E draw semi-Circle (should cross C -B-D forming left side of pattern).
Continued on the next page.
Finally, I came across a mathematician explaining how to break apart a sphere into “petals”. Bingo! I could now make a pattern for any size the designer ordered.
These directions are to make a pattern for a Sphere Pillow 36” Circumference 18” Diameter divided into 8 sections
1) 36” Circumference divided by 8 sections = 4.5”
2) On pattern paper draw a 18” tall by 4.5” wide rectangle
3) Draw line through exact center both vertical and horizontal – mark points as shown
To add a zipper
9) Stitch a 14”invisible zipper chain-one to each side of 4 piece sphere- add pull.
2) Mark top of each piece & mark top and bottom points and serge .
4) Repeat until you have 4 pieces stitched together.
These pillows are a compliment to most any space. My designer has used them in Contemporary to Traditional spaces. In window seats, on sofas, on outdoor swings and on beds. I think my favorite so far has been this hot pink geometric pattern – I love the way it forms a star at the points.
3) Take 2 pieces, right sides together, pin. Stitch from top point to bottom point and back stitch - do not stitch off the edge.
Continued from previous page
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1) Layout and cut pattern pieces on bias– decide if you want to match pattern or cut random.
For 30 years Terry Sandlin has had a passion for making unique, fun, and beautiful fabric creations. Following a move from Georgia to Alabama in 2008, she opened Terry’s Designing Windows. Initially a workroom servicing Interior Designers, she later added retail clients in the Birmingham to Atlanta areas. A solid reputation for quality and service has enabled her to retain clients dating from the early 1990s. She is a 2018 Artisan Award winner and Demonstrator in the Construction Zone at IWCE and will be a 1st time instructor at the upcoming 2021 CWC.
7) With right sides together- match points- pin – and stitch all the way around, leaving @ 6-8” opening.
13) Stuff form into pillow zip closed.
Making a Sphere-shaped Pillow
These sphere pillows are fun to make and once you know a few secrets, easy. A good pillow to add to your offerings.
After much trial and even more error, I discovered that cutting your pattern on the bias keeps your finished pillow from getting the “pull” ridges where the 8 points come together.
I like to use a medium weight upholstery fabric with little to no stretch. When I have used thinner fabric, I use a iron on stabilizer.
5) Stitch next 4 pieces together – You will have 2 half-ball shapes.
To stitch closed
6) Cut 2 strips of fabric ½” wide down X 10” long- stitch to left side of 1 set of 4 = Right side of 2nd set of 4 .
8) Turn – make sure you have an 8 point star at top and bottom – stuff with poly until its full and holding it’s shape – stitch opening closed with ladder stitch.
10) With right sides together – match points at top– pin- and stitch starting at one end of zipper – around to other end of zipper, making sure to stitch through marked top points.
11) TURN – Make sure you have an 8 point star at the top.
12) Using your same pattern make a form from pillow ticking following previous directions but instead of zipper – leave @ 6 -8” opening – stuff with poly – whip stitch closed. It will take a lot more stuffing than you think .
Learn to sew window treatments and soft furnishings with WT Online interactive, study-from-home classes. Basic level classes include roman shades, low bulk pleated draperies and pillows, and include class kits with supplies needed to complete class projects. Professional level classes help experienced workroom owners fine tune skills and focus on specific methods.
See the Workroom Tech winter/spring 2021 schedule and learn more at www.WorkroomTech.com or contact Susan Woodcock, Susan@WorkroomTech.com
Online Classes at Workroom Tech
at the Library
February Circle Time with Rosemarie Garner
of R Garner Custom Designs, LLC
Take Your Roman Shade Banding To the Next Level
was held LIVE on February 16th at 1 pm ET.
Did you miss it?
It's recorded and on the Library!
Join the Library today as a PRO Plus Member to view past and future CIRCLE TIME events, on demand.
Click through to view slideshow.
Are You Secretly Losing Money in Your Business?
by Jill Ragan Scully
Jill Ragan Scully is the owner of Impressive Windows & Interiors, a 1600 square foot design showroom located in Hastings, Minnesota. Her buying group, My Designer Concierge, helps secure discounts, reduce high yearly account sales minimums, and forge strong relationships with new vendors. My Designer Concierge has over 150 accounts with leading brands in the soft furnishings industry to make ordering easier while also saving members time and money. The yearly membership investment of $80.00 with My Designer Concierge can save you thousands each year and help you bring your business to the next level.
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Does this story sound familiar? You learned to sew at a young age. Later in life, you realized you could get paid for sewing; sewing could be a career. You could make a living doing what you love. Did it seem too good to be true?
After a while, you found all these like-minded groups online full of talented people that sew home furnishings for others. They had businesses, THEIR businesses; they had flexibility, happiness, and of course, money. This dream could all be yours, too, if you started your own sewing business.
So, you decide to jump right in. You learn all that you can from online and in-person training. You buy a machine, lots of tools, and supplies to get you started. You take a little time and set up your business with the Secretary of State, get your business license and a business bank account. You are now a legitimate business.
It took some time, but you figured out how to get a few clients other than yourself. They were your family members and friends, but nobody needs to know that, right? After all, they would pay you to sew some items for their home, and that is all that counts. The clients will be knocking down your door after you finish up with these jobs. Can you believe it? You have your own business. You are rocking this small business thing!
How long was it before you learned that owning your own business was difficult? The late-night bookwork sessions, endless marketing efforts, designing, client appointments, sales, paperwork, networking, and sales tax. When are you supposed to have time to sew? You started your own business because you wanted to sew and make money. What happened? As a small sewing business owner, it is genuinely grueling and backbreaking to sew every day and get paid for your labor alone. Your body and mind may become fatigued if you do not take care of it and you are self-employed now, without sick time. When you are not sewing, you are not making money.
What can you do? You NEED to supplement some of your income by selling items made by someone else- things such as hardware, blinds, and shades, fabric and trim, furniture, etc. If you introduce items like these into your business, you are making money marking up and selling things that someone else has already created. Congratulations, you have just discovered the first secret to making more money in your business.
My second word of advice is receiving the best price for the items that you are selling. Do not leave money on the table. I know what you are thinking. If you open several wholesale accounts, you will be just fine. Maybe, but did you know that you could do better than wholesale sometimes? How can you get better than wholesale pricing? Partner up with a local colleague or design friend to get you better pricing on your wholesale purchases for all the above items and more! If your design friend nets over $20,000 in fabric sales from company ABC, they will likely get a better price on goods than you if your net sales are only $2,000 per year. So, it would be to your advantage to purchase through them. When you get your sales numbers up to say around $8000 with company ABC, this is when you should open your own account with that company. These higher sales numbers are what company ABC needs to give you free sample books, free memo samples, better discounts, and regular sales rep visits. All imperative in helping you grow your business. Imagine what that increase in profit could do to your bottom line.
See my quick example below:
• Client Jones: Scenario A- Profit $400 on labor for a valance.
• Client Jones: Scenario B- Profit $400 on labor for a valance, profit of $1200 on 2 blinds and $350 profit on fabric for the valance. But you had to buy into the Hunter Douglas Alliance program for $3200 per year. You could be losing money in this scenario if you do not sell enough in a year to pay for that $3200 investment.
• Client Jones: Scenario C- Profit $400 on labor for a valance, profit of $1200 on 2 blinds and $350 profit on fabric for the valance. This is a typical My Designer Concierge member. We pay for the Hunter Douglas Alliance program.
If you are only providing the sewing labor your profit would be $400. If you sell additional items such as blinds and fabric your profit could be $1950 or more.
If you do not have a local design colleague with whom you can partner, look into joining one of the many design industry buying groups out there. You will gain access to hundreds of companies just by being a member of one of these buying groups. The annual membership fees range from $80 per year to over $3000 per year, depending on the group. They will save you time and money and help you grow your business tenfold.
For a tour of My Designer Concierge watch their YouTube channel here.
Visit My Designer Concierge
Join My Designer Concierge here.
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These past few podcasts have been with a people who are a little bit newer in the business. I loved talking with Kymm Clark to learn about Clarks Fabrication and Design. Kymm has an amazing amount of energy!
Heather McGrew is growing her business and a family!
Jennifer Csanyi is another wonderful member of the Workroom Accountability and Mentoring Group created by Susan Woodcock and myself.
As you listen to each story, there is so much to learn from the individual experiences we each have. Click the links below to listen.
Kymm Clark of Clark's Fabrication - Looking Into the Past To Inform Your Future
Heather McGrew - I Have Challenges But It Doesn't Deter Me!
Resources for You and Your Business
Jennifer Csanyi - I Took It Seriously and Started Making Goals for Myself
The First Podcast of 2021
with Ceil DiGuglielmo
Join the WCAA Tribe and Grow Your Business!
Grow your window treatment and interior design business with the WCAA this year.
If you’ve been looking for a place to network and build your business with like-minded people in the window treatment industry, the WCAA is the place for you.
Our members gain access to valuable benefits including industry resources and trade discounts, educational opportunities, and most importantly, a network of workrooms, designers, students, industry partners and installers all here to inspire one another and grow their business!
You’ll build helpful relationships with vendors and fellow professionals and creatives, and make lifetime connections along the way.
Given the unprecedented growth potential emerging in our industry in 2021, now is the perfect time to scale your business into a professional career, and the WCAA is here to help.
So, if you’re ready to join a network that values community over competition, with real growth strategies and resources, become a WCAA Tribe Member today!
To become a member, simply visit www.wcaa.org
Window Coverings Association of America
Where you’re never in business alone!
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The English Panel Method
Drapery & Design Professional Magazine Volume 2010, Issue 1
Blast from the Past
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I stared at my printer wondering if I needed a new cartridge, but no, it was a grainy obscure photo of a gorgeous statuesque European canopied daybed, in a fabulous room with a 10’ ceiling. My job was to achieve the exact same look, but in a very different space, height, and bed width. Thankfully sketching, scaling, and pattern making are some of my favorite things so I began to work on “child sizing” the beautiful bed in the photo.... My method is to draw an exact scaled replica, based on the existing bed proportions.
The other huge concern was safety in a child’s room, my rule is that everything must be screwed into studs, joists, and/or wood, which normally means a visit to the attic!
Fabrics selected for this project were certainly challenging, a very dense heavy Belgium linen as the interior lining, and a hand-printed stiff cotton fabric for the face, in fact, there were areas where the painted surface varied in thickness. In order to get perfect circle cutouts on the bottom, this fabric needed to be heavily notched within a hair of its life, so we interfaced the entire valance to prevent fraying, then stitched around the curve for stability. My first pattern was perfect but the circles were too tight to manage nice cut outs due to bulk of the heavy linen lining so it was back to the drawing board for a slightly larger wider circle cutout. The patterns were hours in the making but it was worth the extra time. It was especially important to me that the corners wrapped softly without sharp points, just like the photo, and that the sides returned back to the wall in a way that made proportional sense to the front. Believe it or not the installation of this canopy was quite fast and simple because all of the work was done in advance. The designer later passed on the story of the homeowner’s delight with the final result, her daughter was equally thrilled, but the surprise was that her son was also amazed, wondering why there wasn’t anything over his bed!
Mary is the owner of Mary Poynter Studio, a fine custom fabricator to the interior design trade in Yardley, Pennsylvania, established 18 years ago. Mary and a small team of specially trained seamstresses focus on outstanding workmanship, hand finishing, attention to details, proportion, and proper handling of challenging textiles. “Each fabric has a lesson to teach so a good seamstress must be the eternal student”, this is a core belief at the heart of quality results. Mary has worked with many top interior designers in the Tri-state areas of PA/NJ/NY and Delaware, as well as traveling throughout the US for long distance projects. Mary’s work has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine, Bucks County Magazine, New York Spaces Magazine, Philadelphia Style, Suburban Life, and Clear Creek Homes publications. Mary is a member of the WCAA and IFDA.
Behind the COVER PHOTO
Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library
Sew Much More Podcast
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January-February 2021 photo credits:
Mary Poynter, Mary Poynter
Keely Hersh, Right at Home Interiors
Terry Sandlin, Terry's Designing Windows
Susan Woodcock, Home Dec Gal
Jill Ragan Scully, My Designer Concierge
The Drapery & Design Digital Digest is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library, The Sew Much More Podcast and its supporting partners. Our mission is to showcase the outstanding work of custom home furnishings professionals, spotlight quality products, and share educational resources.